The Big Pineapple Renewal


Planning is underway to renew and modernise the Big Pineapple experience following community consultation

The Big Pineapple reopened in recent years, with progressive repair and improvements under new ownership.

In addition to the iconic Big Pineapple structure, visitor centre and train, the site is home to a popular zoo. The site also hosts an annual music festival and other events, along with small businesses and community uses.

While the Big Pineapple currently has low visitation compared to historic levels, planning is underway to renew and sustain the future of the Sunshine Coast’s most famous icon, underpinned by the renewal whole-of-site master plan (Reference: MCU17/2064) lodged in September 2017 with Sunshine Coast Council.

The team looks forward to providing future announcements about new events and attractions, building on the success of the Big Pineapple Music Festival which was recently awarded one of the top 10 regional music festivals by Qantas.

The Big Pineapple site includes 170ha of consolidated land holdings on both sides of the Nambour Connection Road.

The scale of the site provides great potential to host new attractions and again become a popular destination, generating jobs, economic opportunities and community pride in the Big Pineapple.



The Big Pineapple team is planning to deliver updated, sustainable and contemporary entertainment and attractions. While the Big Pineapple structure will be always featured and maintained, new attractions, services and experiences are planned to provide for generations into the future, rather than directly replicate the tourism offer which was popular in the 1970s and 1980s.



Active, New Ownership

The Big Pineapple is owned by successful Queensland businessmen, Brad Rankin and Peter Kendall, who have extensive construction and development experience.

Brad and Peter understand many people have a connection with the Big Pineapple, and would like the site to again become a vibrant regional destination.

Peter and Brad have already made significant investment in the restoration and reactivation of the site to enable the re-opening of the Big Pineapple, along with facilitating events and site master planning.

Brad and Peter also assisted with the relocation of the former Alma Park Zoo, now called Wildlife HQ, and introduced the successful Big Pineapple Music Festival.

Following these investments and initiatives, Brad and Peter are now looking to further extend the Big Pineapple tourism and visitor experience.

Their vision is to restore and sustain the profile of the Big Pineapple as a major tourism destination, showcasing the Sunshine Coast lifestyle and produce, drawing upon its heritage and values.


Site Master Planning

The Big Pineapple site has heritage values which will be protected. The current uses, such as the Big Pineapple visitor areas, the Pineapple Train, the zoo, small business and community uses, along with use of event spaces will continue, and will be included in future planning.

Prospective uses include:

  • Events space
  • Eco-accommodation including glamping, eco-villas, leveraging the site’s natural assets
  • Food and tourism hub to showcase the region’s produce
  • Eco-tourism including the soon to be established TreeTop Challenge adventure course
  • Educational elements including a school camp and food production learning site
  • Onsite camping, an RV park and travel centre including a service station
  • Enhancing the Big Pineapple experience with the inclusion of new tourist attractions


* Artist impression of the planned uses at the Big Pineapple, consistent with the uses sought through the master plan application.

The first step in the planning process is to create a whole-of-site master plan with community input, which has now been completed. This master plan includes complementary and integrated tourism and other uses.

Following community consultation in early 2017 strong support was received for:

    • Theme park/water park
    • Outdoor entertainment precinct
    • Recreational adventure activities
    • Food based tourism
    • Enhanced Big Pineapple experience

A whole-of-site master plan (Reference: MCU17/2064) has been completed and a development application lodged with Sunshine Coast Council.

The development application seeks a preliminary approval for a master plan that proposes expanded land uses across the site, consistent with stakeholder feedback and responsive to the site context and history.

This will advance the Big Pineapple’s future prospects and repositioning as a tourism icon.

If Council and the State Government provide preliminary approval for the master plan, development applications for specific uses will then follow, as guided by the master plan and ongoing community engagement.

Any approved uses will be progressively built in stages, and take several years to complete. Planning will also allow for new opportunities to be considered in the future, as prospects and new ideas emerge over the years to come.

See attached the latest newsletter detailing the master plan lodgement with Sunshine Coast Council:

Big Pineapple Newsletter 3: September 2017

Informed planning and applications

Considerable research and business cases will inform future development applications, building upon a range of already completed studies, including town planning, economic, environment and engineering assessments, traffic management reports and detailed viability studies.

More studies will be undertaken to further assess site opportunities and constraints, along with ongoing stakeholder engagement. Our research, planning and engagement will also confirm any additional infrastructure requirements, such as local road upgrades.

The Project Team

In addition to Peter and Brad’s construction and development experience, the Big Pineapple team includes planners, engineers, project and development managers with extensive experience delivering master planned projects of this size in South East Queensland.

Jim Costello, who has been involved in successful master planned projects, has been appointed as Big Pineapple renewal project manager.

The team also has extensive local knowledge, including CPR Group, a Sunshine Coast based communications and community relations company.

Place Design Group with large-scale master-planning experience on the Sunshine Coast, is leading the planning of the Big Pineapple renewal.

GHD, a senior engineering consultancy company is also supporting the project, and is applying their local knowledge and expertise.


Economic Benefits

Contributing to the Sunshine Coast economy

A future, expanded Big Pineapple experience can generate many construction and ongoing jobs to again become a strong contributor to the Sunshine Coast economy.

An enhanced Big Pineapple tourism experience can again be a key Sunshine Coast destination, and help generate many jobs and hinterland business opportunities.

The Big Pineapple can showcase the region’s world class food and produce, to sustain and generate business opportunities.

See attached the media release following the successful Big Pineapple Music Festival and its economic benefits to the region:

Big Pineapple Music Festival Economic Benefits

Big Pineapple Music Festival – a snapshot of what we can do

Events such as the Big Pineapple Music Festival, awarded by Qantas as among the top ten regional music events in Australia, introduced a new hinterland visitor experience.

The festival also introduces the Sunshine Coast to new audiences, as up to 70% of festival attendees come from outside the Sunshine Coast and up to 10% from outside Queensland.

Midnight Oil reunion tour

The Big Pineapple will host the sold-out Midnight Oil reunion tour at the fields in October.

See attached the following information on transport arrangements for the concert:

Midnight Oil transport arrangements

An improved entry statement to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland

With a gateway position, just off the Bruce Highway, a rejuvenated Big Pineapple can again become a positive entry statement for the Sunshine Coast hinterland, encouraging visitor exploration and spending within communities such as Woombye, Palmwoods, Nambour, and beyond.


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